Chocolate, yes. Coffee, yes. Mad Men, yes. Vinyasa yoga, yes. Just a handful of the things that, at one point or another, I have become addicted to. (Obviously, chocolate never leaves the list)
When I first started studying yoga seriously several years ago, any class I attended had to move quickly. I craved challenges in poses and sequences and wanted to build up a sweat while working my body enough to ensure my muscles ached the next day. These, along with a thought provoking class theme and extended, restful savasana were my personal criteria for a great yoga experience. Even though I did attend and teach slower and less challenging classes at the time, my favorite class was always a flowing vinyasa class…….but then things changed.
Pregnancy came along. I could still teach and practice throughout but I started slowing down a little toward month nine. Baby arrived safely and happily and three months later I was back to class – vinyasa class. Not quite as frequently as before but often enough to get my dose.
Within a year baby number two was on the way. A little more complicated this time as morning sickness came along for the ride so class attendance got patchier. Recovery this time was longer and life more chaotic with two little ones under two. Spare time dwindled until yoga consisted of a disjointed home practice of random stretching sessions or a deep breathing restorative pose over sofa cushions if I was lucky enough to get two naps to coincide.
As time quickly filled with family stuff as energy levels got lower, muscles tightened and the number on my birthday cards increased.
But life is always evolving and just when you think you’ve got it down with naps, diapers and feeding, another phase creeps up on you. Children get older, start walking and talking and before you know it they’re in kindergarten. As spare time increased, a return to yoga was inevitable but my compulsion to spend ninety minutes jumping back and forth between poses was somehow much less appealing. I craved something different.
I’d reached a point where my wrists and hip joints had a lot to say and my head was yearning for an opportunity to learn new things beyond the scope of a stay-at-home mom. I even considered for a while that perhaps yoga had run its course for me and it was time to move on to something new.
Pilates, gym work and zumba classes followed but they just weren’t floating my boat. After a six month yoga hiatus, I returned to a studio.
Iyengar yoga was on the schedule in a time slot I could attend. Even though the last Iyengar class I had attended more than ten years prior was logged in my memory as ‘boring’ I now had an opportunity to approach it from a fresh start with an open mind and a new set of life experiences under my belt.
After many years of thinking that Iyengar wasn’t the yoga style for me it turned out, at this very moment in time, to be just the yoga I was looking for. I finished class inspired and motivated and I continue to study with the same teacher today.
So, life takes different turns. Age and circumstances change as your expectations and perspective shift. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy attending vinyasa classes from time to time but I’ve also learned to embrace the fact that things are always evolving – yoga practice included.
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